I want to ride my bicycle!
Banos Travel Blog› entry 24 of 107 › view all entries
KERRY - After a hair raising bus journey past some sheer drops and winding turns, we arrived in Baños. This town is much smaller than Riobmamba, thank god, and much more friendly. We trudged up the hill to a hostel that had been recommended to us - Princessa Maria- and unloaded our bags. It was a nice place, and very cheap at $5 a night each in a room with an TV and an on suite bathroom! We seemed to have been allocated the noisiest room in the place though, so maybe that was why it was so cheap.
Never mind, we adjusted to the noise and had a comfortable 3 nights here. The town is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains. The main sights of the town itself are the huge basillica on the main square, which was very pretty, and also the Waterfall of the Virgin, not to mention the numerous thermal springs in the area that are visited by locals as well as tourists.
Baños is also a great place to organise trips to the jungle from, go white water rafting, horse riding, abseiling as well as cycling. The latter we opted for and hired bikes on the Thursday for the day at a bargain price of $5 each.We followed to trail of the Cascades, which took us out of the main town and along to road to Puyo, further east. The scenery was magnificent, we were surrounded by mountains most of the way as well as various waterfalls. At the main waterfall sight at Rio Verde we stopped and walked the 1 km down to the rope suspension bridge to view the Pailon del Diablo (Devils Cauldron). It was a great waterfall, but i was a tad scared standing on the bridge! There was even a sign to warn no more than 5 people at a time to stand on the bridge! Indiana Jones eat your heart out.
After a refreshment break, we decided to cycle on a bit further. By this time we were getting tired but wanted to see how far we could go before we completley collapsed. We made it to the Rio Negro at least 20km from Baños. The sky was turning a very dark shade of grey by this time so we decided to call it a day and hitch a ride back on the bus.
After all that excercise we decided to take it easy on Friday and so went along to one of the local thermal springs to rest our aching muscles. It was not as peaceful an experience as we would have liked as the pools were full of local kids, but luckily they left after about an hour so we had the place to ourselves! The baths were not as modern as ones we had been to before, but still nice and only $1 each!
In the evening we took a tour with one of the local companies up to the volcano behind Baños - Tungurahua. This volcano is active, but luckily we did not see any of its movement's. We saw a nice view of the town below and listened to songs round a campfire from a local and then headed back down to the town. Not the best tour we have had but ok. Next back to Quito for a few days to visit the Volcano Cotopaxi and chill before flying to Peru.